Five ways to jumpstart your Jasper Vacation
Jasper National Park and the town of Jasper are full of great Canadian Rockies vacation activities. So many, that someone planning their first vacation here might be a little overwhelmed by the options. So here’s a quick list of 5 sure-fire vacation activities to keep you and your family or friends busy, happy, and feeling like you’re getting the best out of your vacation.
Pocahontas Coal Mine
About 28.8 mi. (48 km.) E. of Jasper townsite off of Highway 16 on the Miette Road you’ll find the what’s left of the “Pocahontas Coal Mine.” A interpretive trail leads you to some spectacular viewpoints that overlook the Pocahontas ponds and of course the mine remnants. This is a great way to spend some family vacation time in Jasper.
Lake Edith and Lake Annette
You’ll find both of these lakes just 3.6 mi. (6 km.) from Jasper townsite. These beautiful Jasper lakes offer several beautiful picnic sites and shelters in a classic Jasper National Park lakeside setting. The water is cool and pristine and after a nice swim you can relax out on the sand beaches or in grassy areas. There’s also an easy trail surrounding the lakes, perfect for a short hike with the family. There is also the Clifford E. Lee wheelchair accessible trail. Cycling is also allowed around Lake Edith.
About 14.2 mi. (33 km.) south of the town of Jasper you’ll find the amazing Athabasca Falls. These falls are easily among the most spectacular and awe-inspiring in the Rocky Mountains. The Athabasca River, which carries an extremely high volume of water, is forced through a narrow gorge here, so that it sort of explodes outward with great force. The canyon walls have been smoothed and potholed by the force this river musters along with sand and rock carried by its current. This is a great place for photography, picnics, hiking, and just generally having a good time on your Rockies vacation.
You’ll find Goat Lookout just 22.8 mi. (38 km.) S. of Jasper townsite. From this great picnic area you’ll get a panoramic view of the Athabasca Valley and the distinctive mountain peaks surrounding it. This is a good place to see Canada’s famous mountain goats, bighorn sheep and other animals searching for mineral licks. Just remember, the most interacting you should ever do with a wild animal here is watching them from a safe distance. Touching or feeding them is illegal, and has the potential to harm both you and them.
About 60 miles, (95 km.) south of Jasper you’ll find the Stutfield Glacier, a section of the enormous Columbia Icefield known as the Stutfield Glacier pours over 900 vertical metres (3000 ft.) of cliff face, and forms a picturesque set of double icefalls, which you can see from a roadside viewpoint.